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Now showing 1 - 5 of 12
  • Publication
    Fra Terrence Deacon e la biologia teoretica: l'origine della facoltà estetica e la questione del gioco
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)
    Tedesco, Salvatore
    Based on a comparison between the contemporary evolutionary perspective supported, among others, by Terrence Deacon, and the biotheoretical thinking of early twentieth-century Germany, this paper purports to contribute to the debate on the origin of the aesthetic faculty, enhancing the role of morphology and the question of play, meant as an exemplary manifestation of the interaction between individuals and environments.
      870  1117
  • Publication
    Biopoetics of Control and Resistance in William Burroughs’ The "Nova" Trilogy
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)
    Christiansen, Steen Ledet
    William Burroughs’ oft-quoted idea that language is a virus is often reflected in the many different versions of the posthuman found today. While this idea of language as virus has been behind many information theoretical readings of Burroughs’ works, it is clear that Burroughs’ poetics is as much a poetics of embodiment, or what I will call a biopoetics. In order to develop this notion of biopoetics, I will draw both on Eugene Thacker's argument about biomedia as the conflation of information and body (Thacker 2004), or what we can call bioinformatics. However, this leaves unanswered the question of bioenergetics, or the question of the felt intensities of Burroughs' writing. To develop this affective dimension of biopoetics, I draw on Tony Sampson's concept of virality (2012), the way energetics and not only information is shared and transferred between bodies by way of media. By focusing on biopoetics, we can see how written language emerges as a nonhuman force of control in Burroughs' work; his emphasis on language as alien and nonhuman reveals how the human being emerges as a process of biopoetics. Burroughs’ central insight is that the entanglement of word and body not only is what Sampson calls affective contagion, although certainly Burroughs emphasizes the negative affects as part of this bodily control. Burroughs underlines that this affective contagion is also one of affective control; the word spreads through affective contagion and exerts control in this manner. Control and affect are inextricably linked for Burroughs and linked precisely through biopoetics, language being primary in this case.
      1132  909
  • Publication
    Transfragmentarismus als biopoetische Strategie der literarischen Antimoderne
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)
    Straubenmüller, Angelika
    The crisis of the modern age is first and foremost a crisis of bios – this being the alienation of mankind from nature through the social impact of industrialization. As a reaction, modern literature evolved into what Adorno called “Mimesis ans Verhärtete und Entfremdete”, meaning the aesthetic adaptation to the fragmented environment. Opposing this progressive approach, antimodernists tried to regain the lost sense of wholeness by developing an aesthetic of “Transfragmentarism”, merging insights of natural science and monistic philosophy with romantic traditions. Literature following this biopoetic strategy to strengthen the mental fitness of its readers was exceptionally successful after World War I. Nevertheless, it couldn’t achieve canonisation in German literature and from today’s perspective could be regarded as a failed method to cope with the evolution of art. The following article will pursue the aim of portraying the implications of this process by examining Erwin Guido Kolbenheyer’s main work, his "Paracelsus-Trilogie" (1917-1926). As a typical antimodernist he considered his writing to be a tribute to the survival of an imagined German Volk and thereby overestimated the healing influence of his art on the country’s shattered post-war society.
      762  782
  • Publication
    Variazioni poetiche di modelli evolutivi. Thomas Mann e l’Homo aestheticus
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)
    Rossi, Francesco
    Thomas Mann was a diligent reader, with pencil in hand, of popular science books. His works display not only a basic knowledge in biology, but also well-informed insights about microbiology, zoology, evolutionary biology and paleontology. In particular, Haeckelian themes and Leitmotive become evident in some major novels such as "Der Zauberberg", "Doktor Faustus" or "Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull", so that there is a broad agreement on the significant role played by the biological discourse within his narrative fiction. Thus, this article attempts to throw light on the evolutionary features of Mann’s considerations about the aesthetic individual. In this regard, after recalling the main features of Mann’s conception of life as bios, the article considers first the idea of evolution developed from his early writings to the later ones. Second, it discusses the most important single elements of this idea, namely mimicry, natural selection and aesthetic evolution, intending it as a progression towards beauty, variety and organic completeness. Finally, the article focuses thematically on Mann’s reflections on the aesthetic individual, referring to the concept of Homo aestheticus, which stems from the contemporary evolutionary theory.
      1075  1361
  • Publication
    Transformisme et création littéraire chez Marcel Proust
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)
    Moret-Jankus, Pauline
    Although several studies have explored the role of science in Proust’s works, few have focused on the aesthetics of biology in "À la recherche du temps perdu". This article looks at the influence of transformist theories (Darwinism or Lamarckism) in Proust’s novel. It shows that naturalists such as Cuvier or Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, who did not support the theory of the transmutation of species, are missing from the novel. Furthermore, the article analyses the themes of metamorphosis and hybridity in order to show how, in Proust, transformism - and specifically Lamarckism -, is linked with mythology and literary creation.
      970  980